SPQR

13 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 2,019 ratings

The King’s Gambit Publisher's Summary

Blackmail, corruption, treachery, murder - the glory that was Rome.

In this Edgar Award-nominated mystery, John Maddox Roberts takes listeners back to a Rome filled with violence and evil. Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike. So the garroting of a lowly ex-slave and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy. But Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger, highborn commander of the local vigiles, was determined to investigate. Despite official apathy, brazen bribes, and sinister threats, Decius uncovers a world of corruption at the highest levels of his government that threatens to destroy him and the government he serves.

©2007 John Maddox Roberts (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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  • Book 1

    • The King’s Gambit

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 38
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 38
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 38

    In this Edgar Award-nominated mystery, John Maddox Roberts takes listeners back to a Rome filled with violence and evil. Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike. So the garroting of a lowly ex-slave and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great start to a series

    • By P. Johnson on 09-21-17

    Regular price: $23.07

  • Book 2

    • The Catiline Conspiracy

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 26
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 25
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24

    It was a summer of glorious triumph for the mighty Roman Republic. Her invincible legions had brought all foreign enemies to their knees. But in Rome there was no peace. The streets were flooded with the blood of murdered citizens, and there were rumors of more atrocities to come. Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger was convinced a conspiracy existed to overthrow the government, a sinister cabal that could only be destroyed from within.

    Regular price: $23.07

  • Book 3

    • SPQR III: The Sacrilege

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 277
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 246
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 246

    When a sacret woman's rite in the ancient city of Rome is infiltrated by a corrupt patrician dressed in female garb, it falls to Senator Decuis Caecilius Metellus the Younger, whose investigative skills have proven indispensable in the past, to unmask the perpetrators. When four brutal slayings follow, Decius enlists the help a notorious and dangerous criminal.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Different narrator, same ol' Decius

    • By Derek Partridge on 06-27-13

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 4

    • SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 213
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 190
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 190

    When Roman junior senator Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger has a chance to join a diplomatic mission to Alexandria, he welcomes the opportunity to temporarily elude his enemies in the Eternal City - even though it means leaving his beloved Rome. Decius is just beginning to enjoy the outpost's many exotic pleasures when the suspicious death of an irascible philosopher occurs, coinciding with the puzzling and apocalyptic ravings of a charismatic cult leader. Intrigued, Decius requests and is given permission by the Egyptian Pharaoh to investigate the heinous crime. What he discovers is beyond shocking.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • One of my favorite series

    • By Terry on 02-13-16

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 5

    • SPQR V: Saturnalia

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 191
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 170
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 167

    This eagerly awaited fifth book in John Maddox Roberts's Edgar-nominated historical mystery series once again takes the reader back to the Rome of Julius Caesar and the Roman Senator Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger. Decius has won himself a reputation as both an investigator and, most unfortunately, a bit of a playboy. Having been banished by his family for sometimes embarrassing activities to a rather leisurely lifestyle on Rhodes, he is puzzled to be suddenly and unexpectedly summoned home to assist in an investigation.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • It just keeps getting better

    • By Mary on 07-01-14

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 6

    • SPQR VI: Nobody Loves a Centurion

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 194
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 176
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 174

    Julius Caesar, as we know, arrived in Gaul (now France) and announced "I Came, I Saw, I Conquered." But when Decius Metellus arrives from Rome, not seeking military glory but rather avoiding an enemy currently in power, he finds that although the general came and saw, so far, at least, he has far from conquered. The campaign seems at a standstill. Decius' arrival disappoints the great Caesar as well. He has been waiting for promised reinforcements from Rome, an influx of soldiers to restart his invasion. Instead he is presented with one young man ridiculously decked out in military parade finery and short on military skills.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Decius the reluctant warrior

    • By Michael Stringer on 08-27-13

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 7

    • SPQR VII: The Tribune's Curse

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 168
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 155
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 155

    In his extensive series featuring the detecting feats of Decius Caecilius Metellus the younger, set in the Rome of 70 BC, Roberts achieves a very believable modern feeling with his well-researched description of the stories' background. This seventh episode, however, combines a familiar view of the demands office-seeking makes on a candidate with a situation that is impossibly bizarre to us today. An entire city, versed in literature, music, and the other arts, ruled democratically, for its time, is thrown into panic by an enraged man's curse.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • My favorite of the series

    • By Daniel Weiss on 12-31-14

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 8

    • SPQR VIII: The River God's Vengeance

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 175
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 163
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 159

    Ancient Rome, in this accurate and evocative series, is just as politics driven as any major American city - possibly even more. Decius Caecilius Metellus has, through a series of rather wild adventure, and in the act of tracking down killers and other reprobates, barely escaped annhilation several times. Now, newly elected to the office of aedile, the lowest rung on the ladder of Roman authority, he must smoke out corruption and conspiracy that threaten to destroy all of Rome.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Love Robert's SPQR series.

    • By gwendolen on 02-04-17

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 9

    • SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 159
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 143
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 141

    As I walked back through the City, my mood was moderately elevated. This appointment did not displease me nearly as much as I pretended. Like most Romans I abhorred the very thought of sea duty, but this was one of the rare occasions when I was looking forward to getting away from Rome..... For years I had complained of the disorder of the City, and now that it was gone, I found that I missed it. All the peace and quiet seemed unnatural. I did not expect it to last.- Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger in SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Love SPQR

    • By Shannon S. on 07-06-15

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 10

    • SPQR X: A Point of Law

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 165
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 149
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 151

    Decius Caecilius Metellus is moving up in the world. He's won some money and glory fighting pirates in the Mediterranean and expects a speedy election to the office of praetor. That all changes when a man he's never seen before publicly accuses him of corruption. Decius and his powerful family of Rome's leading politicians scramble to prepare a defense. However, the day of the trial they are greeted with a strange surprise on the steps of the courthouse: the corpse of the man who made the accusation. Now Decius is up against a much more serious charge of murder.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • another great book from j m roberts

    • By lynn on 08-15-13

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 11

    • SPQR XI: Under Vesuvius

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 146
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 135
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 132

    Things are going well for Decius Caecilius Metellus. He is Praetor Peregrinus, which means he has to judge a case or two, but those cases are outside of the city. His cases will be those dealing with foreigners, and all of Italy is his province. His first stop is Campania, "Italy’s most popular resort district". Decius and his wife, Julia, are happy for a change of scenery. But the good times end when, in a town near Vesuvius, a priest’s daughter is murdered. Decius must find her killer and keep the mob off a young boy who everyone blames but he believes to be innocent.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • always amazing

    • By Robb Miller on 07-25-17

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 12

    • SPQR XII: Oracle of the Dead

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 134
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 121
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 120

    Decius Caecilius Metellus, this year's magistrate for cases involving foreigners, is living the good life in southern Italy, happy to be away from Rome, a city suffering war jitters over Caesar's impending actions. He thinks he is merely visiting one of the local sights when he takes a party to visit the Oracle of the Dead, a pre-Roman cult site located at the end of a tunnel dug beneath a temple of Apollo. He quickly learns that there is a bitter rivalry between the priests of Apollo and those of Hecate, who guard the oracle.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great listen

    • By gwendolen on 03-16-17

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 13

    • SPQR XIII: The Year of Confusion

    • By: John Maddox Roberts
    • Narrated by: John Lee
    • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 133
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 120
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 119

    Caius Julius Caesar, now Dictator of Rome, has decided to revise the Roman calendar, which has become out of sync with the seasons. As if this weren’t already an unpopular move, Caesar has brought in astronomers and astrologers from abroad, including Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, and Persians. Decius is appointed to oversee this project, which he knows rankles the Roman public: "To be told by a pack of Chaldeans and Egyptians how to conduct their duties towards the gods was intolerable."

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • please sir, i want some more

    • By mcmouse on 05-16-16

    Regular price: $19.95